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I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK (2006)       J.S.A.: JOINT SECURITY AREA (2000)

 

A double bill from one of Korea's most commercially successful directors Park Chan-Wook (THIRST). This set includes the comic romantic drama about a delusional young mental patient who believes herself to be a cyborg - I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK (2006); and J.S.A.: JOINT SECURITY AREA (2000) a murder mystery thriller about death on the DMZ separating North and South Korea.

 


 

 

(aka "Saibogujiman kwenchana" )

 

directed by Chan-wook Park
South Korea 2006

 

This is quite probably the weirdest love story you’re likely to see. It takes place in a mental hospital, between an anti-social schizophrenic and a girl who thinks she’s a cyborg. This, though, is okay, because they’re both comfortable with their situation. They never question things or cause much trouble. They go on with their lives, not really caring or questioning what’s going on. So, it’s okay. In fact, the title is a lot more appropriate that it may seem at first.

The movie starts out simply, with a lady wheeling Yeong-goon in the floor, explaining who everybody is. This, we learn, is trash, as the doctor quickly comes in and tells Yeong-goon that his lady invents stories to make up for lost memories. What, then, should we trust, if the first explanation of the movie is false? Perhaps, not trusting anything is the best way to go about your life. Watching everything, insinuating itself everywhere is Park Chan-wook’s incredible visual style. With a camera following, bobbing and weaving through patients and walls, it’s both creepy and stylish. There are no secrets here, and the camera makes sure it stays that way. The music, in contrast, is light and jazzy. A strong counterpoint to the serious matter, it lightens the tone, making everything seem normal and natural. In his first feature film, Korean pop star Rain (Jeong Ji-hoon in the credis) gives a great performance, subtle but layered. His willingness to help others is commendable, and especially his commitment to Yeong-goon, played by Lim Soo-jeong (who wowed me in ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’). They’re very natural living inside characters that live in their own logic with heir own rules. They play these strange characters, yet feel very natural. We all have problems. Sometimes, others can help us, but ultimately you’re the one that has to solve the difficulties in your life. I find it interesting that the person diagnosed as being anti-social goes around trying to help everybody. Whether he succeeds or not, I suppose, is not important. It’s the act that counts, right? He falls for this girl wearing dentures and wanting to find out her purpose. He’s nice and understanding, but she’s the only one that can figure out who she is. So, Young-goon is a cyborg, but it’s okay.

Pat Pilon

Posters

Theatrical Release: 7 December 2006 (South Korea)

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DVD Review: Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:43:00 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.46 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Korean Dolby Digital 5.1; Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Director Interview (16:9; 1:02:18)
• Making-of Featurette (4:3; 7:50)
• Music Video (4:3; 3:41)
• Teaser Trailer (4:3; 1:48)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:02)

DVD Release Date: 19 October 2009
Palisades Tartan

Chapters 16

 

Comments

I'M A CYBORG (BUT THAT'S OKAY) - Although the Palisades Tartan slipcase and cover promise a DTS track (as did the cover of Tartan's out of print single disc release - which is repackaged here), there is only 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo audio (then again, the 2 disc Korean release only has Dolby Digital 5.1 - the Blu-ray (reviewed HERE) has uncompressed DTS and Dolby options). Shot in HD, the 2.35:1 image is anamorphic and progressive. Although the file size of the film is only 4.07 GB of the total dual layer disc, the bitrate seems sufficient for an SD rendering (based on comparison of the Blu-ray caps alone with the latter more successful in contrasty shots like caps 2 and 4). The main extra is an hour long director interview which is stilted because everything he says has to be translated to the audience. A music video and trailers round out the extras.

JOINT SECURITY AREA - Made in 2000, the original audio format is Dolby SR and a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo option is available in addition to 5.1 and DTS options. The dual-layer, anamorphic transfer is unfortunately an NTSC-PAL transfer. As is the case with INTO THE MIRROR on the KOREAN HORROR ESSENTIAL COLLECTION set, Tartan's OOP DVD release of JSA was a two disc set featuring a second disc of extras which are not available here as the Palisades Tartan set only includes the first disc (old stock, not a repressing). I have not seen Palm Pictures' R1 DVD but while it lacks a DTS track, it features interviews, a behind the scenes featurette, a music video, and the trailer as well as English 5.1 and 2.0 surround options but only Korean 2.0 surround (but the film's original mix is Dolby SR). The availability of this film in a set with I'M A CYBORG makes it a nice purchase but fans of the film may consider looking for the OOP Tartan 2 disc (though it is an NTSC-PAL transfer), the R1, or the 2 disc Korean R3 although I'm not sure if the extras are subtitled.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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Screen Captures


Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Tartan - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Tartan - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Tartan - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Tartan - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

(aka "Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA" )

 

directed by Chan-wook Park
South Korea 2000

 

At 2:16am, October 28, in a recent year, a South Korean soldier is attempting to cross the bridge from the North. After an exchange of fire, the wounded soldier is rescued. In the military investigation that follows, three dead soldiers are found in the North Korea border post: One South Korean, Two North Korean. North Korea accuses him of being a spy, having attacking the post with a fellow soldier, South Korea accuses the North of having kidnapped the two soldiers and “interrogated” them. As if the political climate wasn’t tense enough, this incident puts both sides on alert. Two military investigators, a Swede and a Korean born Swiss, arrive at the border to investigate the incident. This is the set-up for “JSA”, one of the best Korean films to date, directed by Park Chan-wook, who also made “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” and the critical acclaimed “Old Boy”.

Park is a philosophy major, who during collage got fascinated with film and who went on to be assistant director on Gwak Jae-young’ “A Sketch of a Rainy Day” (1988). He got his breakthrough with “JSA”, after two poorly received films, which went on to be the highest grossing Korean film to date. At the centre of Park’s films are ordinary humans, who are driven to extremes, but also a social aware motif, of ordinary humans fighting against an irrational force. In “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” its need for 10 million won, in “Old Boy” it’s the prisoner and in “JSA” it’s the division of Korea. But while “JSA” is very political, the characters are not. Where it begins as a politic thriller, it soon, by the investigation, turns into a story about four friends, caught up in the conflict between North and South Korea. None were spies, none were kidnapped and when we, towards the end of the film, are shown the actual events, its basically anticlimactic in its simplicity. Throughout the film, Park underlines the two faces of the conflict: On one side, we have the political, military apparatus, on the other side, we have ordinary human beings, who can reason and who have a heart. This is beautifully stressed in the sequences, where two border patrols meet each other and the captains walk towards each other and have a cigarette together.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: 9 September 2000 (South Korea)

Reviews             More Reviews         DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:49:
Video

2.29:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.72 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Korean DTS; Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1); Korean (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.29:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: 19 October 2009
Double Size Amaray

Chapters 16

 

 



DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Modern Audio - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tartan Asia Extreme - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Modern Audio - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tartan Asia Extreme - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Modern Audio - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tartan Asia Extreme - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Palisades Tartan (Park Chan-Wook Double Bill) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Modern Audio - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Tartan Asia Extreme - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 



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